February 11th, 2006


Bush Misunderestimated at the Political Gallery

After the customary morning chocolate finger at the Brioche, I headed for Tottenham Court Road and a series of Bush political cartoons that Lin had spotted on the internet before our trip. The gallery was entertaining and the cartoons from the British newspapers appeared harsher than what Bush faces domestically. Some of the cartoons are more ribald than ours. The quality and selections were excellent. It’s a good thing I couldn’t afford to buy them, as the price was 250-350 pounds for the originals. Here’s a sample:


IWM – Spitfire IA

Friday, February 10, 2006
IWM – Spitfire IA

From Tottenham via Bakerloo Line to Elephant and Castle, then a 4 block walk past the Notre Dame Language School for Girls to the former Bedlam, and now the Imperial War Museum. The exhibits open were the Holocaust Exhibit which was extremely moving, even though I had seen it before, Lawrence of Arabia, which I didn’t see, for lack of time and fading energy, and the MI-5, MI-6 James Bond Exhibit, which was worth seeing on the theme of Truth being more fascinating than Fiction, though insufficient depth is possible in the brief time and space available.

My concentration was on World War II aircraft and on the Spitfire IA of Noel Agazarian, whom I felt I knew, or at least had been introduced to by Patrick Bishop, in “Fighter Boys,” an absolutely compelling description of the young men who fought in the Battle of Britain. I felt that I had more than the skeleton of information already, from my preoccupation. I felt that I had the muscles and tendons in place. Bishop adds the muscles of facial expression, the emotional connection to the individuals. Agazarian was a public school boy (our private schools) at Dulwich and then went on to Wadham College, Oxford, leaving with a boxing blue and a law degree. He went into the RAF Voluntary Reserve and 609 Squadron, and scored 2 victories in this plane. The museum placard states, “This Spitfire Mark IA R6915 joined No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron, stationed at Middle Wallop, Hampshire, in July 1940. It was flown by thirteen different pilots on fifty seven operational sorties during the Battle of Britain. It accounted for two German aircraft, shared in the destruction of two more and damaged a further four. Its most frequent and successful pilot was Pilot Officer Noel Agazarian who claimed all the victories except two of the “damaged” credits. On two occasions he had to force land the aircraft after it was damaged by enemy fire. The aircraft was transferred to the Museum in 1946.”

There are quite a few interesting planes suspended from the ceiling including a Focke Wulf FW 190 A8, a P-51D Mustang that is in beautiful condition, a First World War BE-2 and Sopwith Camel.

Some selected photos follow.


The Princess Garden; Farewell London Marriott

Another fabulous referral from the concierge, and another fine meal of chicken with mango, won ton soup, eggplant, pot stickers, this time bearing no relation to mother’s kishka, and ending with toffee covered lichees. We are about eaten out!!! Diet has not existed for ten days, and there will be a price to be paid.

This being a retro entry, I can say that our last full day in London was very quiet and restful, as we prepare for a departure at about 11:20 AM tomorrow.

Lin has nearly outdone the original Spitfire flight, and we have many special memories and a lot of reading material.

Still, in retro, and now covering our last meal, on Saturday, February 11, 2006 at the Marriott’s Cobalt restaurant: fish and chips for Lin and a sampler of Caesar salad, Beef salad and Chicken Korma, followed by a glass of Australian late harvest Muscat. Enough to make one wobble. So what do we find but Piper Heidsieck Brut Champagne and strawberries, a gift from Miranda and Marriott. We finished our Stilton cheese, Gouda cheese and grapes while watching the pairs figure skating for the Winter Olympics. I’m watching Nebraska vs Texas basketball, and hoping that UCLA may follow.